If you are injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence in Indiana, you can seek compensation in a personal injury claim. Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party, such as a driver who caused your accident, can help you receive a settlement for your accident-related damages.

While compensation offers a way to pay for medical costs, lost wages, and psychological damage due to the accident, there may be limits on what you can receive for your claim. Understanding these limitations and working with an Indiana personal injury lawyer at Wagner Reese can help determine how much you can get in your personal injury lawsuit.

What Damages Might You Be Entitled to in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

In a personal injury lawsuit, you can seek different types of damages related to your accident. These include economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages:

  • Economic damages: Economic damages are tangible losses that can be easily quantified in monetary terms. They may include medical expenses, such as hospital stays, surgeries, medication, and rehabilitation. They may also include lost wages due to time away from work, and property damage, such as a vehicle or personal belongings.
  • Non-economic damages: Non-economic damages are more subjective and can compensate you for intangible losses. These damages may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of consortium. Pain and suffering acknowledges your injury’s impact on your well-being and quality of life. Emotional distress covers psychological effects resulting from the event, such as anxiety, depression, fear, insomnia, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Punitive damages: Punitive damages, sometimes called exemplary damages, are awarded in exceptional cases where the defendant’s behavior is intentionally reckless or malicious. These damages are meant to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct in the future.

Limitations on Personal Injury Case Damages

In personal injury cases, certain limitations and restrictions can affect the amount of compensation you can receive. These limitations arise from insurance coverage limits and state-imposed damage caps.

Insurance Coverage Limits

When filing a personal injury claim in Indiana, you can seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company. This means you will only receive a settlement within their insurance coverage limits.

For example, if you are in a car accident and file a claim with the negligent driver, your compensation will depend on their insurance. Indiana requires a minimum of $25,000 in property damage and $25,000 for bodily injury per person, although some drivers may have a higher policy limit depending on what they purchased.

If you are hurt in a slip and fall on someone else’s property, their homeowners’ or business liability insurance will cover the claim. Homeowners’ insurance typically carries around $100,000 in bodily injury liability coverage, which means you can win up to this amount in your settlement.

You can try to pursue additional compensation outside of insurance coverage limits, but the defendant may not have the ability to pay it.

State Damage Caps

Many states, including Indiana, have implemented laws limiting the compensation a plaintiff can receive for certain damages. These limitations are commonly referred to as damage caps.

  • Economic and non-economic damage caps: There are no damage caps on economic or non-economic damages in Indiana. Your settlement can include any quantifiable damages if you and your attorney submit proof of the monetary loss.
  • Punitive damage caps: Although punitive damages are rare in personal injury cases, they are allowed in Indiana. However, they are capped at three times the compensatory damage award or $50,000, whichever is lower. Also, you can only expect to receive 25% of any punitive damages awarded in your settlement. The state awards 75% of punitive damage awards to the Violent Crimes Victim Compensation Fund.
  • Other damage caps: If the defendant in your case is a government entity (for example, if you slip and fall in a public building such as a library or post office), your total claim will be limited to $700,000. The state also has a$500,000 cap for medical malpractice claims.

Contact a Lawyer to Get the Compensation You Deserve

When you are hurt by another’s negligence, you have the right to compensation. Our personal injury lawyers at Wagner Reese can represent your interest in a personal injury case to help you receive maximum damages.

We represent clients in many types of personal injury cases, including car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace incidents, and premises liability claims. We will use our experience and knowledge of Indiana’s compensation laws to help you get a fair settlement for your injuries.

Contact our law firm today for a case evaluation and find out how much compensation you can receive for the damages you incurred.